If your pet is LOST, Caring Hands suggests:
- Create a poster! Click here for a template.
- Hang your poster in prominent intersections around your neighborhood and email it to neighbors, your neighborhood watch, leasing office or homeowners association, etc. You could also hang your poster at: grocery stores, libraries, coffee shops, gas stations, drug stores, and schools.
- Send the poster to every animal hospital and shelter in your area. Click here for a list of animal shelters.
Tip: Go to the shelter. These busy facilities may not match you with your pet via a phone call. Going to the facility & asking to see all recently found pets is your best bet.
Prevention is the best medicine! Make sure your pet is microchipped. This permanent type of identification is highly successful in reuniting you with your pet. A collar and ID tag can easily fall off when your pet is out and about.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for a microchip – these can be given during any wellness visit. Find out more about microchipping here.
If you FIND a pet, Caring Hands suggests:
- Use caution!
When handling a pet you are unfamiliar with, remember that any animal can carry zoonotic (able to be passed from animals to people) diseases, including rabies! Always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the lost pet, and keep found pets separated from other pets in your home when possible. This will help reduce the likelihood of your own pets contracting any disease or illnesses.
- Scared animals may be difficult to approach or trap, and frightened animals often lash out by scratching or biting. If you feel you may not be able to handle an animal safely, please call Animal Control for assistance.
Fairfax County Animal Control: 703.691.2131
Prince William County Animal Control: 703.792.6465
Arlington Animal Control: 703.931.9241
Alexandria Animal Control: 703.746.4774
- Is the pet wearing a collar?
An ID tag will be the best tool – these usually have owner names and phone numbers, making it easy to get a pet home. If the pet has a Rabies tag indicating the year they were vaccinated, you can call the phone number on that tag which will connect you to the animal hospital where the vaccine was given. Animal hospitals should be able to locate the patient in their database with the rabies tag number.
- If you are able, please bring the pet right away to a nearby animal shelter or veterinary office. All shelters & hospitals are equipped with microchip scanners which can locate an implanted microchip allowing us to reunite the pet with the owner right away!
- If the pet is not wearing an ID tag and does not have an implanted microchip, we would recommend posting a found poster around the area the pet was found, and also notifying local animal shelters and animal hospitals. Click here for a template.
- Finally, there are many websites set up to help reunite lost pets with their owners – feel free to upload information & photos to:
Have questions about wildlife? Click here!